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Dec 17, 2013 11:41 PM

Iseya (いせや総本店 公園店) ruined.

Iseya's park branch at Kichijoji was one of my favorite restaurants in Tokyo for the simple fact that it had a fantastic atmosphere. A Yakitori place (which serves mostly pork) housed in a derelict wooden building that essentially appeared to not have been renovated/cleaned in half a century. Some places try to look old, Iseya was old. It was fantastic. Food itself was good enough, but nothing to write home about.

Fast forward to today Iseya have torn down the building and replaced it with a utterly ugly modern and above all utilitarian structure.

It literally feels like dining in a Kombini now.

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  1. Too bad, I have been to Iseya a few times. However, for them to reconstruct any building like the original would likely have been too expensive in this age. I live in Shibuya and for Izakaya I love "Fujiya Honten" on the south side of the station. When you go down the stairs into this basement joint, you are suddenly transported to 1971 or so.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tripeler

      OK, will definitely check that out. Iseya felt a bit like that, maybe even older. The really sad thing is that this "リニューアルオープン" completely fails to capture any of the spirit. Sure, they won't have the money to build it in the old style, but how hard can it be add some wood paneling (instead of beige concrete walls) and some traditional windows you can actually see the park through (instead of opal safety glass you would normally find in a train station's toilet) ? And why light that place up like a doctor's operating room?

      Attached: Some pics before and after.

      1. re: Scharn

        Well, it has been said that the Japanese are very keen when it comes to beauty, but totally clueless when it comes to "ugly." Or, maybe they are thinking that the public will give them another 50 years for the new building to become worn and charming.

    2. Why don't you just go to their main branch, which is five minutes away?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robb S

        because i like the park branch more?